March 27, 2006 ē By Ed Wrather
Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. - 1 Peter 5:5-6.
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. - Philippians 2:3-4.
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. - 2 Chronicles 7:14.
In a poll conducted by the Washington Post, it was found that most people who live in the United States think they are above average in many areas of their lives.
In the area of honesty - 94% thought they were "above average." In common sense - 89% thought they were "above average." In actual intelligence - 86% thought they were "above average." In physical looks/beauty - 79% thought they were "above average." Of course, now we know something else about these people. What do you think that might be?
According to the results of the Washington Post poll you could probably argue that of the people in the United States only 6 to 21% of them have that quality called, humility. Of course, those lacking in that quality appear to be making up for it in thinking well of themselves.
Psychologists will tell you that a good self-image is important to maintaining good mental health. It now appears that the self-image of many may have been over-developed. A proper self-image is vital for many reasons. Thinking rightly about yourself is important in making life decisions. A false view of yourself could lead you to take actions that you should not take or fail to take actions that you should.
One of those actions that a faulty self-image will prevent you from taking is prayer. If you are self-made, self-important, above average in every area of life - why would you need the help of anyone, even the help of God? However, humility, and a lower than average self-image appears to be what God is looking for in His most special servants.
In Micah 6:8 we are told, "He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?"
Then, in 1 Peter we have this, "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
In that great verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14 we have what are traditionally thought of to be the requirements for revival. The very first requirement is that Godís people, "humble themselves." The second requirement is that Godís people, "pray." The second and third requirements are to seek God, and to turn from their wicked ways. Perhaps this is why we are in such great need of revival? Because of our above average self-image, we see no need to humble ourselves, certainly not before God, and therefore we see no need to pray. If that is the condition of our hearts how likely is it that we would have a desire to seek God or to turn from our "wicked ways?" Not very!
A key to living in harmony with other men and women and with God is very simple, but its practice has grown increasingly rare. Humility, a rare quality that is growing even rarer. Do you have it?